TasTAFE Conservation students managing their own ecosystem

TasTAFE’s Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEM) students have been getting their hands dirty recently at a Hobart reserve. Working at Gregson Avenue, New Town, the students are working alongside City of Hobart to learn first-hand about bushland conservation.

The students are regenerating and maintaining the bushland reserve while balancing its unique management requirements.  Students have been allocated 1500m2 blocks to manage in groups of four and need to develop and then carry out bushland management plans.

The site is home to eastern barred bandicoots, possums and wallabies and has established eucalyptus.  As part of their practical experience, students need to balance their weeding requirements against maintaining habitat for native fauna while revegetation programs become established.

City of Hobart’s Fire and Biodiversity Team Leader, Matt Bartlett, said the partnership is a win-win for the council, for students and for TasTAFE.

“It’s really good to have TasTAFE to help us out with it. It’s great to be working with up-and-coming people in the industry. When we have jobs going in the future, we’ll know who’s out there and we have people to pick from who we have worked with already.”

For the students, the partnership is an opportunity to put what they learn at TasTAFE into practice, and work alongside industry professionals.

“The team from the Council are all over it. They know what they’re talking about, they do it every day. It’s been great to have them here overseeing things and giving pointers, student, James Heard said.

The opportunity to work with industry has given students belief in their career aspirations for many reasons. For Lulu Clarke, it’s proven to her that women can thrive in conservation.

“It’s really rewarding to see and work with women in the industry given this is a fairly male dominated industry. It’s been great working with women here to see how they do things, what their protocols are. It’s a relief for me to see that I can make it in the industry.”

“I would love to be a part of this industry. I’m very passionate and I’m very confident in my plant identification and all the skills that we have learned so far.”

“We’ve learned a lot about controlling and removing weeds. We’ve done a couple of units on weeds but coming out here and getting a brush cutter stuck in blackberries and gorse it’s been really eye opening and important.”

“Our teachers James and Meg have been great. James actually did this course himself, so as someone starting in the industry it’s really encouraging to see that full circle of him helping out the next generation coming through.”

Article courtesy of TasTAFE

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